Improved Swerve Drive Design with Suspension


My senior design team designed a swerve drive module for one of the robots I personally worked with for my research (affectionately named “Scrat”). Scrat is a non-holonomic, pseudo- omnidirectional robot designed to traverse laboratory floors to detect alpha radiation contamination. This project was inspired by Scrat’s several design issues: poor tire traction, no suspension, poor encoder resolution, and large gear backlash. In light of these issues, the team’s goal was to design, test, and manufacture a new wheel module with an accurate steer system and functional suspension while remaining within a $3,000 budget. We made detailed CAD models, a full BOM with references to vendors, detailed assembly instructions, and a 3D simulation. Unfortunately, the actual machining and assembly of the module was not possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this design has been successdully implemented.